Last week’s Tele-Talk question, “What type of upgrades should take place at the Conway Community Building?” called for responders to think critically, to craft an answer other than ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and they delivered. The responses were split: seven for rebuilding the center; four for renovating the current building; and three other responses that ask more questions of their own.
Why not use the middle school and upgrade that gym, put air conditioning in, use those extra rooms for summer camps, and offer kids more options? Then the improvements help more kids year-round. Having multiple buildings owned by the town for separate uses is expensive. Spend money on upgrades that benefit more kids.
This is how I see it; put the sixth-graders in the middle school, and then combine the elementary schools down to two, and use the extra elementary school building as the rec center. Problem solved, money saved!
Mow it down and totally rebuild it, including the Aquatic Center along with it. It is about time we invested in our future by providing a top-shelf recreational experience for our youth.
Keep up with Joneses. Taxpayers can’t keep paying higher and higher taxes. Spend $450,000, not $3 million. We don’t need Taj Mahal. Fix the drug epidemic in Conway first.
Upgrade it. The water isn’t even potable, and employees have to carry water for the campers. It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.
Isn’t the building fairly new?
No upgrade. Tear it down and work out something with some other entity like the Community Center in North Conway. Or else, float a bond to build a new one. But this entire mess could have been minimized if John Eastman had given early warnings and/or if the board of selectmen had accepted. Sut Marshall’s donation of a facility that at least had running water and looked to be just fine. This entire mess is on the staff, sad. Conway
The Conway Rec Center is an exceptional place where my three grandchildren have been involved with numerous sports and the summer rec program every year for the past five years. John Eastman and Mike Lane (and wonderful staff) provide a very important service to their community. Many parents depend on this program so they can work to support their families. With 350 children signed up for the summer program (consistently every year), there is obviously a tremendous need for this center. I believe that where there is a need, a dedicated staff in place and a caring community, we should support this program by providing a decent building for it to function. Presently, they are operating out of a rickety old school building that does not meet their needs, but they have made the best of it. Where there is such need, I think we should build a new center at the current location — tear down the old and build a new center that will be used for years. Our kids are worth it! Janice, Bartlett.
Torch it so the volunteer firefighters can practice putting it out, let the Air Force pilots use it for bombing practice, or nuke it. Then build another one.
We are made to believe it’s all about kids. Well, it isn’t. That building is old and will need replacements for many many years. Tear it down, and use the space for a new town hall sometime in the future.
Bulldozer, excavator, tear it down, build something brand new.
Yes, I support a total rebuild of the Conway Community Building. The community needs a new facility for the rec programs, sports leagues, teen center, and it also could serve as a senior center for the seniors who are more active. As the baby boomers retire, this group needs a place where they can be active year-round, and I think the community owes it to the young kids and the seniors. Joe, Center Conway.
I would restructure the question: There are three major renovations/new buildings potentially facing the Conway voters in the near future: Rank them in your order of importance, from most to least? The three potential additions to our debt are: 1. Conway Community Center – From $450,000 to $3 million paid for by the taxpayers. 2. Renovation/Replacement of Town Hall – Renovation costs subject to review. “Rumor mill” has it that the Laconia Bank Building has been appraised at $600,000 and would meet long term needs of the town staff, if available for sale. 3. Pine Tree School Renovation – the third of three renovations of the Conway School District’s Elementary Schools, estimated to cost north of $900,000 to bring it up to standard. I believe that the renovation/replacement of town hall is the most important infrastructure item for the town/school district. An opportunity to fix a problem for the long term with replacement of a marginal facility with a much newer structure does not come along often. One issue that must be addressed is another “rumor mill” topic: “Does the “property deed” state that in the event that the property is no longer used for town government purposes, the property will revert to the original owner of the property? If that is the case, it could be a significant wrench in the works. The renovation/complete rebuild of the Conway Community Building would be my second priority — I have gone through the facility recently and believe that the modest upgrade discussed in your original question is the minimum necessary to keep the Recreation department functional. A key question here is: “How long would the “modest upgrade” extend the life of the current facility, and would that also meet the needs of the population 10-15 years down the road? Spending north of $900,000 for the renovation/rebuild of the third of three Conway School District Elementary Schools would be my lowest priority. In 2007, the total school district budget was approximately $31 million a year. The budget that just closed its books was very close to $40 million annually. A significant portion of the increase is due to the new teachers’ contract, and two bond issues for the renovation of John Fuller (work completed last year) and Conway Elementary School (work in progress). It is important to remind the voters that the school district has eleven classrooms available for use in Kennett Middle School, which currently cost approximately $65,000 annually to maintain in what the military would call “mothball status.” Bottom line, in my personal opinion, the Conway taxpayer has sunk more than adequate monies into Conway School District’s infrastructure, and the town side of the ledger needs attention. It may well be that the only way to ensure some equality between the two elements is to examine ways to modify the governing structure of the town and district. Jim LeFebvre.
- Category: Tele-Talk